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Bonnie_W
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Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

Hi Jillian,

 

Thank you so much for sharing your novel with the First Look readers.  We're enjoying it so far. ^_^ 

 

While reading Vixen, I've noticed both the names you've given your characters and the abundance of slang no longer commonly used.  When putting together Vixen, how did you know which names and phrases to use? 

 

Did you look at lists of popular baby names and slang from the 20s?  Once, I tried finding baby names from a different country (I forget which one), and even with all that internet can do, it was still hard to find what I was looking for.

 

I remember once on her blog (or her website, perhaps), fellow YA author Tamora Pierce mentioned that she always referred to the book Slang Through the Ages by Jonathon Green.  I was lucky enough to find a used copy of it (it's out of print now) for in case I ever have the need to incorporate older slang into something I'm writing.  Do you ever find it hard to balance what you put into what you're writing?  Do you worry if it's ever too little, too much?  Do you stick with the same few sayings so it doesn't grate on your audience?

 

Attention to small details always fascinates me.  I'm one of those people who can easily be pulled away from a story if it doesn't "feel" right, especially if someone has today's slang in with something from, say, the 16th Century or even something modern like wacky doctor talk going on that's way off-base.  I'm glad you're paying such a close eye to your time period.  As a reader, it makes me quite happy. :smileyhappy:

 

 

http://abackwardsstory.blogspot.com for ideas on what to read next!
(Last author interviewed: Michelle Madow; Last book reviewed: CADET OF TILDOR; Giving away: CADET OF TILDOR until Jan 31! :smileyhappy:
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CookieNookie
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Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

Good morning Jillian,

 

First of all, thank you so much for Vixen and for allowing us to read it before the general public. I LOVE it!

 

1. Do you plan on sticking with the 20's as far as any other series you may write?

 

2. Are you inspired by other authors? If they are as good as you please recommend.

 

 

Claribel

 

 

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Deltadawn
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Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

Dear Jillian,

 

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful book with us here! It is so engrossing and definitely, as you can see by our posts, appealing to adults, as well as young adults. I am so glad to learn that there will be at least 2 sequels and that they'll include the main characters of Vixen as well as others!

 

Thanks also for joining us in these discussions and answering our questions (though I don't have a new one right now - you seem to have answered my questions which were posed by others in the group already).

 

Thank you again. I'm sure the book will be hugely successful!

Dawn

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gackie
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Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

Hi Jillian,

 

First off I have to say what a wonderful book and thank you for letting all if us have a First Look.
I was wondering which character is the most fun to right about? And if you could be one of your characters which one would you choose to be?

 

Thanks,

Jackie

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Jillian-Larkin
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Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

 


DSaff wrote:

Wonderful! Thank you for your reply, Jillian. One last question, will a "Vixen" website be up soon?



Hi again! There's currently a Flappers Facebook page, where you can see the absurdly beautiful trailer for VIXEN:

 

http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Flappers/107526909291138

 

I believe a website is in the works as well and should be up closer to publication.

 

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Jillian-Larkin
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Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

 


shmy wrote:

Hi Jillian,

 

Well I already started The Great Gatsby since I am now craving more 1920s. It's hard to ask a question without asking for spoilers!

 

I love romance in my books, I'm that cheesy. And I always pick a favorite, in the case of Vixen, my favorite couple was Marcus & Clara, I loved Jerome and Glo too, but for some reason I afraid their romance will not end well because of the era and such. Do you have a favorite couple?

 

ETA - Ohhh I'm loving the titles so far!

 

P.S I kind of had a ~feeling~ for Bastian & Lorraine too, but that's just me!


 

Hmm that's a tough one. I'm pretty sure I love the couples equally, though I get nervous for Gloria and Jerome too. I am particularly drawn to Marcus and Clara's romance sometimes. In small ways, like being handsome and likable but also something of an awkward, funny nerd on the inside, Marcus is a tiny bit based on my boyfriend. So he gets special place in my heart for that reason :smileyhappy: Thanks so much for reading, and enjoy The Great Gatsby!

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Jillian-Larkin
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Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

 


Sickofitcindy wrote:

This isn't a question but rather a compliment. My young adult years are behind me but I really enjoyed your writing style. I thought Vixen was age appropriate but interesting to those of us well past our teenage years. I feel like some YA authors talk down to the reader but I didn't get that feeling when I read this.

 

Since this is the question forum I'll ask if there's an approximate date for the next book? I know, Vixen is just coming out but I can't wait!


 

Thank you so much! I've loved young adult literature my whole life, though as you said, there are quite a few YA books that do talk down to kids. That's actually a big reason why I wanted to write young adult books: to be honest and to remind teenagers that it's okay to be the way they are, as opposed to how some YA writers feel they should be.

 

At the moment, INGÉNUE is due to come out in August 2011.

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Jillian-Larkin
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Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

 


Atreyu59 wrote:

Jillian -  - - What made you tackle the 'race' issue as you did in this book?  This was a very touchy subject matter for the YA's of the timeframe, but less so with today's teen - at least in some geographic areas I should say.

 

Thanks 


I don't think there was a real moment when I "decided" to tackle the race issue. All I knew starting out was that Gloria was a debutante who secretly wanted to be a jazz singer. But as I researched the musicians playing in Chicago at that time--King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton--I realized how many all-black bands were around back then. I decided the band at the Green Mill was all black ... then it just kind of developed organically from there.

 

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Jillian-Larkin
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Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

 


TudorRose wrote:

Jillian,

 

Congratulations on a job well done.  Thank you so much for letting us get a sneak peak.  I am really enjoying Vixen and can't wait for the sequels. 

 

I don't usually read books that are marketed as YA, but this book has really grabbed my attention and I really care about all the characters (even Lorraine!).  I was wondering if you wrote the book specifically as a YA title or was that was a decision made by your publisher?

 

Also, you have impeccably researched the time period.  Your descriptions, especially of the clothing and accoutrements are fantastic.  Do you have any go-to reference guides for the period?  Do you collect vintage clothing of this era?

 

Again, congratulations on the book.  I wish you much success with The Flappers.    


 

Hi,

 

Thank you! I was specifically thinking of a YA audience in writing the book, yes, but I am pleased that it's appealing to an adult audience as well.

 

The research for this book has been pretty extensive. As I said on another board, reading Zelda by Nancy Milford helped me learn more about the parties and people of that time period. Reading literature from that time gave me a good feel for how people spoke and acted back then. I have a few go-to websites for various aspects of the period.  Here's a little sample:

 

Slang: http://home.earthlink.net/~dlarkins/slang-pg.htm

 

Music: http://www.redhotjazz.com/

 

Clothing: http://www.fashion-era.com/1920s/ (it really doesn't get much better than this site)

 

I'm a very visual person, so I also often just go on Google Images and search for vintage clothing, certain city streets, newspapers, what have you. The Metropolitan Museum of Art had a fantastic costume exhibit called "American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity." The guide book for that exhibit proved very useful in describing the clothes.

 

Ha, I would love to collect 1920s vintage clothing, but it's always been a little out of my price range. Mostly I just have a lot of 1920s-inspired clothes. And my winter hat is a cloche hat.

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Jillian-Larkin
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Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

 


 

I just recently started reading Agatha Christie and would like to suggest checking out some of her Tommy and Tuppence books. Better yet, try to get some of the movies. They feature the 1920's era and the mystery adds some spice to the mix.

 

 

Agatha Christie's Tommy & Tuppence: Partners in Crime, Set 2

  

 

 

 

Partners in Crime (Tommy and Tuppence Series)

  

 

 

Good luck with Vixen and the series.

 

I am really enjoying Vixen and wish you the best!


 

 

 

Thanks very much for the recommendations! I love Agatha Christie, particularly And Then There Were None. I've never read any of the books from the Tommy and Tuppence series or seen the movies, though I am eager to do so.

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Jillian-Larkin
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Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin


ScrappyMama wrote:

Hi Jillian!

 

  I don't really have a question because most of the things I would ask have already been asked, but I do have to let you know that I LOVE your book!  I am so excited to have been chosen for the First Look and think it's wonderful you have given us this chance.  I love the 1920's as well, thanks largely due to an early obsession with Bonnie and Clyde.   LOL  I cannot wait to read the next two in the series. 

 

Thanks!

 

Ashley


Hi Ashley,
Thank you!  I love Bonnie and Clyde too :smileyhappy:
-Jillian

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Jillian-Larkin
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Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

 


All-Things-Stephen-King wrote:

Hi Jillian,

 

WELCOME!

 

First I want to say how much I am enjoying everything about this book.  My question is this; do you have any plans for a tour/book signings?  Based on the buzz that's being created by this board there would be some looong lines to meet you and discuss your wonderful book. I am so looking forward to your next book.       


 

Hi,

 

Thanks! I actually just went on a pre-publication tour for VIXEN a few weeks ago. It wasn't your typical tour--just a few visits to schools and dinners to let people aorund the country know about the book. If things go well for VIXEN, though, I will go on a more traditional tour upon INGENUE's publication. I'd love to meet you all at a signing!

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SSDailey
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Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

Hey Jillian, my question deals somewhat with Vixen, but I was just wondering how you went about getting published after you finished writing your novel. Did you get an agent first and then start submitting? I've been working on editing some of my own novels for a while now and I've started really looking into submissions, etc. I even bought myself the 2011 Novel & Short Story Writer's Market. Do you have any advice for hopeful future authors?

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Jillian-Larkin
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Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

 


bookrooted wrote:

Hey Jillian!

 

Before Vixen I didnt know much about the 20's time period, except there was lots of dancing and glamour. When I read your book it was so easy to understand without knowing much about that time period-you did a wonderful job of bringing your readers into the setting perfectly leaving enough rom for the imagination.

 

One of my questions is-Which character came easier to write? Who came to be the toughest? You can tell distinclty which character is which in Vixen, and I wondered if you related to any of them, that they were easier for you to right.

Another question is, When you first began writing Vixen, did you have everything planned out? Has a lot changed in the plot since you began writing to publishing?

And lastly, for fun, if you could go to the 20's period which city would you go? Do you know which city was swinging more?

 

Sorry its a lot of questions! I want to thank you for allowing all of us to read your fantastic book! And congratulations on your success and all your hard work finally paying off ;] I'm excited to read the next two books in the series!

 

-Madison


 

Hi Madison,

 

Thank you for the kind words!  Some good questions ... I don't think there's any one character that's easiest for me to write. It all depends on my mood. If I'm feeling silly, Lorraine is the easiest. If I'm feeling cool and clever, then it's Clara. If I'm dreamy and romantic and looking back on the days when I dreamed of being on Broadway, it's Gloria all the way.

 

I relate to all the girls in different ways. I'm not sure I could spend so much time in their heads if I didn't. Clara has my small-town roots and a desire to run away to New York while Gloria got my red hair, green eyes, and musical aspirations. Lorraine is pretty much a big ball of every rejection I felt in high school: falling in love with boys who didn't feel the same way, drifting apart from friends, etc. I was initially nervous about writing a book from multiple character's perspectives, but it actually suits my restless temperment well. If I feel myself getting bored with one character, I move right on to another!

 

I had some things planned when I started and left other things up to fate. I am big on writing outlines prior to writing but I also always remember that it's not set in stone. Gloria's romance with Jerome actually wasn't planned whe I first started writing--I just knew I wanted her to become a jazz singer in a speakeasy. But as I started writing the first chapter, Jerome just swallowed up the scene with his fingers flying over the piano keys. I love when characters can surprise you like that.

 

As the book has moved through the publishing process, the plot actually hasn't changed that much. Mostly a lot of scenes just got trimmed down a lot, the romances took center stage a bit more than they did previously, and I sometimes worked to zero in on the girls' characters a bit more.

 

Aaand the last question. Chicago had an amazing music scene and is still such beautiful city. Not to mention the actual, incredibly awesome Green Mill is there. But New York had the Cotton Club and the Algonquin Round Table.  I also live in New York, so it would be particularly cool to wander the areas I know best in a different time. That's really tough ... can I please go to Chicago and New York in the 20s?

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Jillian-Larkin
Posts: 96
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Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

 


Bonnie_W wrote:

Hi Jillian,

 

Thank you so much for sharing your novel with the First Look readers.  We're enjoying it so far. ^_^ 

 

While reading Vixen, I've noticed both the names you've given your characters and the abundance of slang no longer commonly used.  When putting together Vixen, how did you know which names and phrases to use? 

 

Did you look at lists of popular baby names and slang from the 20s?  Once, I tried finding baby names from a different country (I forget which one), and even with all that internet can do, it was still hard to find what I was looking for.

 

I remember once on her blog (or her website, perhaps), fellow YA author Tamora Pierce mentioned that she always referred to the book Slang Through the Ages by Jonathon Green.  I was lucky enough to find a used copy of it (it's out of print now) for in case I ever have the need to incorporate older slang into something I'm writing.  Do you ever find it hard to balance what you put into what you're writing?  Do you worry if it's ever too little, too much?  Do you stick with the same few sayings so it doesn't grate on your audience?

 

Attention to small details always fascinates me.  I'm one of those people who can easily be pulled away from a story if it doesn't "feel" right, especially if someone has today's slang in with something from, say, the 16th Century or even something modern like wacky doctor talk going on that's way off-base.  I'm glad you're paying such a close eye to your time period.  As a reader, it makes me quite happy. :smileyhappy:

 

 


 

Hi Bonnie,

 

Thanks so much! And yeah, when naming the characters, I did look up a list of popular baby names from 1906 (since most of the main characters are seventeen in 1923). Gloria is also kind of named after Gloria Gilbert in The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald, though I like to think my Gloria is a nicer person :smileyhappy: I often use this site for the slang:

 

http://home.earthlink.net/~dlarkins/slang-pg.htm

 

Walking the line between too much slang and too little is definitely a struggle, and something that is never perfect by the end of the first draft. I owe a lot to advice from both my agents and editor in that area. The first draft of VIXEN didn't have enough slang, while the third had too much. It's wonderful to know that you think we struck a good balance in the end.

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Jillian-Larkin
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Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

 


CookieNookie wrote:

Good morning Jillian,

 

First of all, thank you so much for Vixen and for allowing us to read it before the general public. I LOVE it!

 

1. Do you plan on sticking with the 20's as far as any other series you may write?

 

2. Are you inspired by other authors? If they are as good as you please recommend.

 

 

Claribel

 

 


 

Hi Claribel,

 

Aw, you're so sweet! And no, THE FLAPPERS are the only books set in the 1920s I plan to write. I've been lucky enough to start my writing career at a young age, and I'd love to use that time to attempt as many genres and writing styles as I can.

 

Of course I'm inspired by other authors! Ha, I'm still not used to referring to "other authors" as though I am one. As VIXEN may show, I love, love, love F. Scott Fitzgerald. I've read Gatsby about twelve times. My tastes span far and wide: The poetic prose in White Oleander by Janet Fitch and Anita Blake's lovable snarkiness in Laurell K. Hamilton's early Anita Blake novels are equally inspiring to me. Richard Yates embodies the 1960s in Revolutionary Road in a way that I wish I could do with the 20s.

 

I love great young adult literature too, some of my favorites being the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman, and The Giver by Lois Lowry.  I have kind of a thing for dystopian novels.

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pen21
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Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

 


Jillian-Larkin wrote:

 


DSaff wrote:

Wonderful! Thank you for your reply, Jillian. One last question, will a "Vixen" website be up soon?



Hi again! There's currently a Flappers Facebook page, where you can see the absurdly beautiful trailer for VIXEN:

 

http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Flappers/107526909291138

 

I believe a website is in the works as well and should be up closer to publication.

 


 

Thank you for sharing this with us. I really enjoyed the trailer.

I have read half the book and the trailer fit in with my feelings about the book.

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literature
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Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

 


Jillian-Larkin wrote:

 


DSaff wrote:

Wonderful! Thank you for your reply, Jillian. One last question, will a "Vixen" website be up soon?



Hi again! There's currently a Flappers Facebook page, where you can see the absurdly beautiful trailer for VIXEN:

 

http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Flappers/107526909291138

 

I believe a website is in the works as well and should be up closer to publication.

 


 

The trailer is phenomenal!  I don't know how many times I watched it already.  I love your writing, it just flows, and I am able to picture everything as it is happening.  Watching the trailer just convinced me that I pictured everything pretty accurately. 

 

Now you gave me more to ponder.  I've been trying to find clues in the story to come up with the true identity of the vixen and I've posted my thoughts about the prologue.  Lorraine tells Gloria that she keeps a flask in her garter and the trailer showed the flask in a garter.  The woman seemed too poised to be Lorraine.  She almost reminds me of a very loose version of The Three Faces of Eve.  I keep going with Gloria because of the green eyes and the transformation that she is going through but I never pictured Gloria as the type that needs an instant alcohol boost.  I will just have to keep reading.  Lorraine has dull hazel eyes, maybe the light refracted off something green and her eyes looked green?

 

I know I'm writing this backwards, I should have welcomed you first.  Welcome to our group and hope you are having as much fun being part of it as we FL'ers do.  The past few months I've had a strong urge to read The Great Gatsby and recommended it for reading at one of my book clubs and now I'm reading Vixen.

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SeaLue
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Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

Hello Jillian, Haven't finished Vixen yet, but I'm loving it so far. I have a silly question- which girl is depicted onthe cover? I'm guessing it's Gloria. Also, I agree that this is very much a YA book. These girls are definetely going through emotions that all girls go through. I think that's why books like these are important. It helps to know you're not the only one dealing with these issues.
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pixie203
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Re: Questions for Vixen's author Jillian Larkin

Hi Jillian! 

 

I loved the connection between Clara and Marcus, however I did have a problem with Jerome and Gloria's.  I felt that he was way too mean to her, and the way that it was written it was if it's ok to be treated this way.  There is a part in the book that she tells herself that he must love her b/c he's mean to her.  Are you sure that you want this type of behavior for a YA audience? Granted that it takes place in the 1920s and things were different back then, however I don't believe that the intended audience will grasp that. 

 

Thanks!